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Top 10 mysteries in Tibet

By Mirenda Wu Source:China Tibet Online 2015-05-27

No.1: Savage

As the "four greatest mysteries in the world", the savage in Tibet has provoked much discussion.

As early as 1784 there were records about Tibetan savage.

In recent years, many claimed they had witnessed the savage in the vicinity of the Mt. Himalaya. It is also said that the female savage even robed local men to force them to get married.

Many investigations have been launched in eastern Tibet, but no one could interpret the mystery of savage so far.

No.2: Red snow

The Mt. Himalaya is laced with blood red stain all year round in its 5,000 plus peak, seen from afar as red snow.

The red stain is made up of the highland algae, which is able to endure extreme coldness to survive 36C below zero. It appears blood red because it contains blood red pigment.

No.3: Flag cloud on top of Mt.Qomolangma

In sunny days, the peak of the Mt.Qomolangma is shrouded with moving milk-white clouds and fogs, seeming as if a flag with the mast of the peak was swinging.

It is formed by the convective cumulus. Judging from the location and height of the clouds, the expert could tell the speed of head wind on the peak of the mountain. The higher the height, the smaller the speed of wind is. When the height parallels with the peak, the speed of wind is estimated at nine degree. Hence, the flag cloud on the top of the Mt. Qomolangma is also known as "the highest vane in the world".

No.4: Honghua

Honghua (become a rainbow) is an occult phenomenon formed when the enlightenment great monk passes away. It is said when the enlightenment monk who has obtained a certain degree of Buddhism passed away , his body will convert into a rainbow and enter the Amita World of Buddhism.

No.5: Shangshung Kingdom

Shangshung, meaning "land of roc" in Tibetan language, was recorded as "sangtong"in Han history.

It is the earliest civilization center in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Archeological research and historical data indicate that the Shangshung Kingdom grew up in the 10th century B.C. and established relationship with the Tang Dynasty (618—907 A.D.) earlier than the Tubo Kingdom.

As early as 6th to 7th century, the Shangshung people started the animal husbandry combining with agriculture.

Ancient as it was, the Shangshung once witnessed extraordinary high civilization-it not only created its own character but also nourished the Bon religion, the most indigenous religion of Tibet, having a profound impact on the Tubo Kingdom and even the culture all over Tibet.

There was once a formidable military force serving the Shangshung Kingdom in its heyday, helping the kingdom to extend its territory to a majority of Tibet, part of Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, western Kashmir and Ladakh.

After then, the Tubo Kingdom rose abruptly and completely replaced the Shangshung Kingdom in the 8th century. From then on, the Shangshung Kingdom vanished together with the once splendid culture, leaving the literatures, characters and a group of ancient relics a mystery to the generations to come.

No.6: Wizardry

Mightily influenced by the aboriginal religious belief, Tibetan people believe that everything, either flying in the sky, running on the earth or swimming under the water, has deity, who dominates over the world.

In the evolution of human being, people has never stop longing for a superhuman power to influence or even control the objective reality or some natural phenomena, thus engendering the fete and wizardry along with a group of people who lived on it-necromancer.

However, people know nothing of the necromancer, for example the title, ways of inheritance, clothes, religious wares, altars, curses and so on.

Perhaps, somewhere in the world the most primitive wizardry rituals were still more or less keeps, and the mystery of necromancer still remains a mystery and needs to be further studied.

No.7: The Epic of King Gesar

Hailed as the longest heroic epic in the world, the Epic of King Gesar has more than one hundred volumes.

It has been passed on from one generation to the next mostly orally, and only an extremely small amount of hand-written copies are kept in folk.

The legends of Gesar narrators have been told for centuries. The Gesar artists, who are able to tell dozens of epics, claim themselves "God-taught artists" because they are endowed by the God with super power.

According to the artists, when they were young, they had dreams and then fell ill. In the dream, they met the God or the King Gesar and have their decrees. Afterwards, their family members invited monks to chant Buddhist scriptures, during which the "door of wisdom" opened, giving them the ability to narrate. Some legend has it that many kids who are totally illiterate got ill but woke up with ability to tell the Epic of King Gesar. It is still an unsolved mystery and no one could tell why.

No.8: The Guge Kingdom

In the middle of the 9th century, Lang Darma, the 9th Tsenpo (the highest leader) of Tubo Kingdom was murdered and his great-grandson escaped to Ngari Prefecture in the west of Tibet. By the 10th century, Lang Daram's descendants set up the Guge Kingdom, which had influenced Tibet with outstanding culture from more than 700 years.

In 1630, Ladakh invaded Tibet and ultimately annihilated the great Guge Kingdom.

Historical data show that the war and slaughter did not destroy the civilization of Guge Kingdom nevertheless. But one thing for sure, there is a striking similarity between the disappearance of Guge Kingdom and the Maya civilization-too abrupt.

Today, dozens of households, who are proved not to be descendants of Guge Kingdom, live in a lonely city which could contain thousands of people. Where could the hundreds of thousands of people of Guge Kingdom have gone and how did they disappear overnight? Nobody knows.

No.9: Terma

The Bon religion and Tibetan Buddhism believers hided or buried their Buddhist scriptures somewhere secluded when their religious belief were undergoing a disaster. Those Buddhist scriptures being dug out in later years is called Terma, translated in English as "treasure" or "revealed teaching".

Terma is divided into "Shuzang", "Shengwuzang" and "Shizang". Shuzang means scriptures while Shengwuzang refers to religious ritual implements or things used by the great monks.

The most wizardly is "Shizang". When the Buddhists had difficulty in keeping the Buddhist scriptures or paternosters in the face of calamity, the God would "put" them on someone's consciousness to make sure that those classics be passed on successfully. When the right comes, the "scripture receivers" will read out or write down the scriptures under some unearthly instructions. This is the mystery of Terma, which has been absorbing a great number of experts to explore its secret.

No.10: Shambhala

Shambhala, also translated as "Shangri-la", means "having happiness and peace in mind". Shambhala refers to the world of Asgard in the world of Buddhism, where the Kalachakra (the wheel of time) Teaching originated from.

In real life, people still have their doubts about whether Shambhala really exists, while the Buddhists believe that it is a fancied fairy land.

Detail records about Shambhala can be found in some Tibetan historical data-located in the west of the central jokul, Shambhala looks like a lotus flower petal which is surrounded by snowy mountain ranges. A variety of flowers and herbs are in full bloom, from the peak of the mountain to the deep in the forest, with countless lakes and rivers scattering about. With green grass and dense forest, it is definitely an ideal place for people to have their spiritual practice and improve their Buddhism achievement.

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